California’s Daily Nexus loses open meeting case

\nCALIFORNIA – A university newspaper lost a major open meetings\nbattle on June 1 when the California Supreme Court ruled in favor\nof the University of California’s Board of Regents.

The Daily Nexus at the University of California at Santa\nBarbara alleged that through private phone calls, the 25-member\nboard of regents, which included then-Gov. Pete Wilson, solicited\nvotes to repeal the university’s affirmative action policy before\na public meeting on July 20, 1995.

But the court never decided if the regents’ activities violated\nthe state’s open meetings law.

“They never gave us the chance to [prove] that,”\nsaid Matt Hurst, current Nexus editor in chief.

In Regents of the University of California v. Superior Court,\n976 P. 2d 808, 85 Cal. Rptr. 2d 257, 20 Cal. 4th 509 (Cal. 1999),\nthe state supreme court ruled that a 30-day statute of limitations\napplied and had passed when The Nexus, led by then-staff\nwriter Tim Molloy, filed the lawsuit in February 1996. The\nNexus claimed it did not learn of the phone conversations\nuntil more than 30 days after they occurred.

“A cloud of suspicion will always hang over the Wilson\nadministration,” Nexus attorney Dan Tokaji told The\nAssociated Press.

Wilson’s term as governor ended in December 1998.

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